Sleep Disorders, Sleep Remedies & Insomnia Relief


Getting Sleep and Going To The Bathroom at Night

Frequent trips to the restroom at night can be caused by a number of things including pregnancy, diabetes, congestive heart failure, or an overactive bladder, among others. Getting up at night interferes with our sleep cycles. Are there any treatment methods to help those who suffer from nighttime wake up calls to get better sleep? Here we will delve deeper into the matter.

During the day, your kidneys clean your body by producing large amounts of urine. When you go to sleep at night, your brain makes lots of a hormone called ADH for short that shuts down your kidneys so you can sleep at night. As you age, the brainís ADH production slows down so many older people have to get up at night to visit the restroom. Antidiuretic hormone nasal sprays or pills can help these people sleep through the night. Even men who have frequent night-time urination after prostate surgery have reduced levels of ADH and can be cured by taking that hormone at bedtime (1). A potential serious side effect is seizures from taking too much water with HDH (4). So, if you take a 400 mg ADH pill or a single ADH nasal spray at bedtime, do not drink fluids after 6 PM.

The common causes of frequent urination range from the overly simplistic explanation of excessive fluid intake to more complicated scenarios such as congestive heart failure, benign prostatic hyperplasia, diabetes, chronic or recurrent urinary tract infections, or drugs.

If you are pregnant, this can mean lots of trips to the bathroom especially in the first and last trimesters.

Pregnant women and mothers will testify that the quality of sleep in the third trimester is unbearable. Along with the normal discomforts of pregnancy such as heartburn, leg cramps, restless leg syndrome, and snoring, the bladder is under pressure. Like it was during the first trimester when the bathroom was a second home, the baby is positioned right on top of the mother's pelvis. Pregnant women can reduce their nighttime potty breaks by limiting fluid intake in late afternoon and evening and also completely emptying the bladder every time they visit the toilet. You can cut down on nighttime trips to the bathroom by drinking plenty of fluids during the day but limiting your intake in the hours before you go to bed. Stay away from coffee and tea late in the day.

An overactive bladder may make you feel like you have to get to a bathroom immediately because the bladder muscles act inappropriately and contract involuntarily. You may be experiencing symptoms of an overactive bladder if you get up 8 or more times in a 24-hour period to go to the restroom, if you get up two or more times at night, if you have sudden urges to urinate, and/or if you have wetting accidents. You can try cutting back on liquids, and wear pads or liners to protect your clothing but there are other ways to deal with this condition and get back to a normal night's sleep. Consult with your physician about medical treatment. In the meantime, try some Behavioral therapy such as Kegel exercises to help strengthen your pelvic muscles. Try to retrain your bladder by lengthening the time between visits to the bathroom. Add fifteen minutes to the time between the times you would normally go to the bathroom. If you go every two hours, wait two hours and fifteen minutes the next time and slowly get your bladder trained to make less visits to the bathroom.

Biofeedback is also an option which can teach you how to contract the levator muscle and track when your bladder and urethral muscles contract involuntarily. Drug therapy will help block bladder contractions by relaxing your bladder muscles. Occlusive devices are another option for women, which are urethral inserts and urine seals that help to obstruct urine flow and manage leakage. Surgery is recommended only as a last resort when drug therapy and bladder retraining have failed. You can also modify your diet to help you get some shut-eye. Avoid or limit foods that contain caffeine, chocolate, and alcohol that make your body produce more urine. Also stay away from foods and beverages that may irritate your bladder such as coffee, tea, chocolate, alcohol, citrus fruits, juices, and high-spice foods. Drink six to eight glasses of water spread out evenly through the day. If you have problems with constipation or have gained too much weight, this can worsen the symptoms of an overactive bladder. Smoking has been show to aggravate the bladder so if youíre a smoker, try quitting for the sake of your health and your overactive bladder.

Check with your physician or urologist for treatment options and get back to a good night's sleep.

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